Most of us have heard the term “gut health” and know that keeping it in good standing is desirable and advantageous to our overall well being. But what does it truly mean to have a healthy gut? In this article, we discussed about how to improve your gut health.
What is Gut Health?
Gut Health refers to the physical state and physiologic function of the many parts of the gastrointestinal tract. From the oesophagus to the bowel, gut health covers the health of the entire digestive system – the parts of our body responsible for breaking down our food into individual nutrients we use to run our bodies. Each part of the gut has a different job and different colonies of microorganisms do the job of breaking down food into more digestible formats.
Why is gut health important for our overall health and well-being?
A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious agents like bacteria, viruses and fungi. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well being. Your gut is also where your body gets rid of metabolic waste and toxins. However, if you have an unhealthy gut, your body will struggle to rid itself of those toxins. If this occurs, it can cause many issues, including chronic, fatigue, chronic illnesses and inflammation throughout the body. That’s why people experience symptoms such as brain fog, diarrhea, constipation, gas, joint pain, etc. You may not realize it, but the brain is the second gut; therefore, if your gut isn’t working, your brain is struggling too.
What are the signs of good Gut?
A healthy gut is the one that is functioning properly. It has an excellent balance of good bacteria and bad bacteria in the microbiome. There are many signs of a healthy gut, and most of them are digestive in nature. This means that you are able to move your bowels regularly, with poop that are easy to pass and well-formed. Your daily bowel movements should be symptom-free. There should be no loose poops, no constipation, and no diarrhea. Additionally, you won’t be easily reactive to food and external stressors.
What are the signs of bad Gut?
Everyone at some point experiences digestive problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, loose motions, constipation, heartburn, nausea or vomiting. When symptoms persist, it may be a signs of an underlying problem that needs medical attention. Weight loss without a good reason, blood in the poop, black poop (a sign of bleeding in the gut), severe vomiting, fever, severe stomachaches, trouble swallowing food, pain in the throat or chest when food is swalowed, improper sleep, or jaundice could potentially indicate an underlying gastrointestinal problem with serious consequences.
How to Improve your Gut health?
You may be able to improve your gut health through lifestyle and diet changes. These 7 things you can do for your gut health.
- Lower your stress levels
- Get enough sleep
- Eat slowly
- Stay hydrated
- Take a prebiotic or probiotic
- Check for food intolerances
- Change your diet
There are some foods you can eat that actively promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, contributing to your overall health. These foods include high fiber foods (such as legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc.), garlic, fermented foods (like khimchi, yogurt, kefir), collagen boosting foods (such as citric foods, brocolli, meat, eggs, etc).